Selecting the Right ERP for Your Business - 3 Keys to Success

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With the right ERP software in place, you can benefit from increased productivity, improved inventory and customer service, and a better overall picture of your company’s financial health. Selecting the right system can mean a successful implementation with long term satisfaction and a solid vendor relationship.

Whether you have a legacy ERP system and need to add new functionality or are looking for a brand new system for overall business process improvement, you are in luck.

Today there are literally hundreds of in-house and cloud models to choose from. But knowing how to select the right ERP can be daunting, and choosing the wrong system can be catastrophic.

A recent Aberdeen study recaps some of the dangers of purchasing a system when you are not fully informed – resulting in “smaller improvements in operational metrics, more expensive solutions and implementations, and longer to reach ROI.”

Not exactly what you want from an ERP investment.


Since an ERP solution is the essential tool for supporting an organization, it must be lock-in-step with the organization itself.”   -Aberdeen Group


So how do you know which is the right fit for your company? Here are 3 key areas to focus on prior to purchase:

Why Are You Using This ERP?

In order to ensure your employees are using an ERP to its fullest advantage, you need buy-in from all stakeholders. The last thing you want to do is to invest in a system only to realize everyone hates it as they hover around their old, beloved excel spreadsheets.

Do your research ahead of time: identify what areas you need to improve, discuss openly what departments will need to do in order to successfully implement the system and communicate the benefits to the organization as a whole.

Make sure the system is approachable and easy to use for the people who are actually going to be using it.  Ease of use is a universal issue that should be taken to heart.

If your users are comfortable with the technology, chances are your “super users” will become raving fans and can help you train staff and spread the love. It is important to have confidence in your investment as a savvy business decision that will pay off in both the short and long term.

Who Knows Your Industry Best?

Many ERP systems are inherently born within a certain industry. It is essential to implement an ERP with a vendor that is a prevalent player in your space, who understands - and in some cases, anticipates your needs.

Many ERP providers have extensive expertise with other companies and can draw from a wealth of best practices for implementing their solution successfully. There are third-party vendors who can offer expertise on how to streamline your business process within your industry while adhering to rules and regulations, including ways to automate processing inventory, documentation, invoices, approvals and reporting.  

What Is the Total Cost of Ownership?

What seems low cost at the beginning can eventually add up to a very expensive system. With an ERP you need to look at total cost of ownership – today, and into the next 5-10 years.

Find out what the up front and maintenance costs are and what add-on modules might cost.  Check on long term pricing for on-site and cloud-based models. Review the full product and see if you need it all, or if a smaller more agile system better fits your needs.

Most importantly – can you leverage your existing technology? Will this ERP integrate with your other applications, or is that an extra fee? Is the product roadmap of this ERP complete? Is the developer continually updating their software to serve the needs of their users or will they keep to the same product for 12 years?

Ask to see the product roadmap, and talk to them about recent improvements in access, mobility and emerging technologies – as well as enhancements made to customer support and training.

Successful software implementations start with asking the right questions, staying informed, and doing your homework.

With the right preparation, your ERP can reward your business with increased productivity and overall business process improvement for years to come.

Bonus! Make the most of your ERP investment with AP Automation from docSTAR.

Improve access to documents, reporting and communication by streamlining your current document management processes and workflows. Download a free copy of Invoicing and Workflow: Integrating Process Automation to Enhance Operational Performance, written by Aberdeen Group to learn how Best-in-Class companies use AP Automation to drive efficiencies and cut costs.

Written by Ray Emirzian of docSTAR – Document Management and AP Automation Solutions

by docSTAR

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